Full confidence in Troy

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:38 AM ET

You'd think Troy Westwood would be feeling the love after his East semifinal-winning 20-yard field goal.

Not exactly.

Surrounded by a massive media scrum in the northwest corner of the Bomber locker-room, Westwood probably didn't hear his teammates poking fun at him.

"Nice 15-yard field goal, Troy," his holder, Jamie Stoddard, cracked.

"(Offensive lineman) Andrew Greene could've hit that," injured centre Obby Khan bellowed.

All kidding aside, Westwood's teammates went out of their way yesterday to praise the embattled kicker for his perseverance. He had a career-worst 60.6% field goal percentage this season and was a healthy scratch four times.

"It was like a storybook ending," quarterback Kevin Glenn said. "For him to go out there in front of the home crowd, with all he's been going through, and to kick the winning field goal, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

"I would've given up being the hero ... for him to go out there and kick the field goal."

Glenn wasn't going to watch Westwood's attempt and was going to go by the crowd reaction, but he decided to view it at the last minute. Cornerback Juran Bolden, meanwhile, was never worried.

"There was no doubt in my mind that Troy was going to make that," Bolden said. "I've got so much faith in Troy. Unfortunately we all stumble sometimes, but Troy is a big guy. He's got a big heart and a big spirit.

"I've been a Troy fan since '95. ... I'm glad he made that field goal, and hopefully that takes a lot of pressure off him."

Westwood was also pressed into punting duty for only the second time this season because Pat Fleming had an injured right leg, and head coach Doug Berry praised his placement as "awesome."

Westwood went 3-for-4 in yesterday's 30 km/h wind that often gusted to 50 km/h. His only miss was a 39-yarder with five minutes left in the fourth that would have given Winnipeg the lead.

"As soon as we got over the ball, the wind picked up and it was just howling," Stoddard said. "I was looking back at Troy, and Troy was almost getting blown off-balance for a second there.

"We even thought of calling a time-out or something to see if that wind would die down."

Westwood hit it where he wanted, but the win carried it 10 yards to the left. Berry went over to him immediately and offered reassurance.

"I said, 'You're definitely going back out there again, and next time you go out there it's going to be the game-winner,'" Berry said.

Westwood, 40, moved past Sean Fleming and into third place on the CFL's career playoff field goal list with 45.


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